Since 2016 These Are The Projects We Do Together has been working with an 86,000 sq metre Arkose Sandstone quarry in the Otway Ranges, within the traditional lands of the Gadubanud People. Located on the outskirts of the township of Beech Forest, the quarry sits on an east-west ridge line, 550 meters above sea level within a cool temperate rainforest climate.
The Quarry has been in operation since the late 19th century, providing crushed sandstone for road and rail building, as well as occasionally providing rock material for landscaping and building projects. The Quarry is still under licence and currently going through rehabilitation.
“The return of extensive disturbed land to a stable, productive and self-sustaining condition may take quite a long period of time.”
—Hannan, JC 1984 ‘Mine Rehabilitation: A Handbook for the Coal Mining Industry’.
As a post-extractive landscape, the Quarry requires rehabilitation. Typically, such sites are remediated to a ‘renaturalised’ state through either flooding or filling.
These Are The Projects We Do Together explores rehabilitation as a creative process that is open-ended and involves bringing together different communities through a range of projects that build upon core rehabilitation tasks.
These tasks in summary involve making landforms stable and safe, removing invasive species while improving soil conditions, and testing and developing a long-term vision for the site. As part of testing long-term uses, a range of temporary facilities currently accommodates study and research groups, creative projects and residency programs.
By proposing an alternate mode of rehabilitation we seek to question economic conventions of valuing land as a commodity to be used until exhausted. The future requires rehabilitation: Make a clearing, ask questions, take care.
“Creative practice has the role to try to bring closer the conditions in which we would like to live, and to try to dismantle the cultural apparatus that sustains the system, creating spaces of reclamation, re-appropriation and maybe eventual confrontation where tension and friction can play out in an interesting way, by serving as points of departure for new scenarios.”
—Garcia-Dory, F 2016 ‘A Different Rhythum’ in Pais, AP, Strauss, C (eds). ‘Slow Reader’, Valiz, NL.
“School is not a place for the safe enclosure of lessons. School is an amplifier for the world. Lessons are not fixed ahead of time, or they become rules. The Syllabus is written after the course ends. The course is endless. The curriculum emerges out of the energy and relationships in the space and the world. It emerges out of the encounters in the world. It emerges out of the social contracts for how we negotiate and engage with each other in the world. It emerges out of the questions and feelings, empathy, the politics of experimentation, perceptual awareness, the responsibility of taking risks and compassion. A philosophy of care.”
—Eliasson, O 2016 ‘From The Past With Love’ in Pais, AP, Strauss, C (eds). ‘Slow Reader’, Valiz NL.
The Quarry is taking applications for projects throughout 2024 and 2025.
We are particularly interested in accommodating and supporting projects that relate specifically to site rehabilitation, that work with the geology and form of the post-extractive landscape, that consider the history of the region, and that directly engage with local communities.
Please fill out a short form detailing what you want to do and we will be in contact shortly.
We respectfully acknowledge the Gadubanud People as original inhabitants of the area now known as the Otway plains and ranges. We respectfully acknowledge elders – past, present and emerging. We extend our deepest respects to all First Nations peoples. In the context of the work we do, we express gratitude for our shared connection through place, to the oldest continuing cultures on earth.
The Quarry is operated and managed by These Are The Projects We Do Together.